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Sail Date: May 2014
Just returned from a two night cruise, (it was billed as a get aquatinted cruise) its was my first time on MSC and frankly it will be my last. While the ship was wonderful, with the exception of the shows and cabin steward about everything ... Read More
Just returned from a two night cruise, (it was billed as a get aquatinted cruise) its was my first time on MSC and frankly it will be my last. While the ship was wonderful, with the exception of the shows and cabin steward about everything else was either second rate or a disaster. The MSC web site was about as bad as I have ever run across. The booking consultants are only available during week days, and along with their poor web site left much to be desired. The check in process took more than an hour after arriving in the hall. Once aboard, we found out we were issued a late dinner seating, while we had asked for early. The mandatory life boat drill was the customary thing but the required bringing the life jacket to the drill. That night we got a note stating very firmly that we missed the drill! It seems that their onboard computers work about as well as their website. Because, of a space issue they booked us on the 13th deck directly below the band shell that BLASTED music (?) until 12:45, making it impossible to sleep, Because of a tour we had to be up early so only got about 5 hours of sleep. The buffet was questionable at best they seem to think Americans only eat hamburger, hot dogs along with Pizza. For Breakfast they serve eggs, only scrambled and hard. Lots a bread, I guess its about all they think one should eat. The last day I was told they ran out of eggs! So lots of bread. The The dinning room "Black Grab"serves what could best be described as dormitory food quality with a limited item selection. My grandson described it as what he gets at college, and his college food is rated by the state as equal to prison food so you draw your own conclusion. The cabin steward was ok but I only saw him twice when he turned down the room. Missing in action was the cruise director, he never arranged any onboard activities. While this was only a two day trip I would have expected him going out of his way to keep everyone entertained because there were many tour consultants visiting this cruise line for the first time. We had one at our table and two at the next table, none of whom were impressed with the food. The pool area was nice, and the the nightly shows were a very high caliber. Drinks were fairly priced, and the tours did not seem overly priced for making arrangements onboard. Bottom line skip this cruise line there are so many better ones available.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
From the start, I was not thrilled with the ports this ship was docking at, but I was anticipating a great ship considering it is NCLs newest and largest. Large ship - yes! The complimentary dinning rooms are broken down into Savor, Taste ... Read More
From the start, I was not thrilled with the ports this ship was docking at, but I was anticipating a great ship considering it is NCLs newest and largest. Large ship - yes! The complimentary dinning rooms are broken down into Savor, Taste and Manhattan Room (or up on the 15h Deck is the Garden Cafe - buffet). Although with freestyle you can dine and time you choose, Savor and Taste were small dinning rooms, very un-cruise-like for a main dinning room. Their food was satisfactory at best. The Manhattan Room was large, had a piano player and dance floor which made it a more enjoyable atmosphere. The food in the Manhattan Room was much better than the other two (Savor and Taste) whole-in-the-wall 'main' dinning rooms. Whichever dinning room you choose, you still have to wait a substantial period of time (like 30-40 minutes). They incorrectly use the term 'atrium' on this ship. There is no atrium. You can look down from deck 7 to deck 6 and that is it! The main lobby's main attraction is a huge screen where they show movies. If you go on a cruise to sit in an easy chair, watch a movie while falling asleep - then you'll love this. Otherwise, the main lobby is a bust! Night life is sorely lacking. I caught Rock of Ages which I thought was very good, and Cirque was okay. I had no desire to see the other shows. I sat in Burn the Floor for five minutes and left. On other cruises I liked hanging out in the disco at night and into the wee hours. The 'disco' (a very loose use of the term) on this ship is a dark, small room, box. When I walk into a disco I want lights flashing (like the John Travolta dance floor), disco balls hanging from the ceiling, etc. This one was a total bust and not conducive to shaking your thing. After walking into the potential night spots, I wound up spending most nights in Fat Cats. Slam Allen was wonderful, but you sat on your azz listening to his great music. I'd much rather be dancing, shaking and moving than sitting. The ship was way to boxed off into small restaurants, entertainment areas, etc. The staff was satisfactory to a bit below par. Don't forget you do not HAVE TO pay the $12 per person per day they automatically tack onto you tab. You can alter this when you review your final bill. There is a switch on the wall outside the bathroom for privacy, or to have your room cleaned. Unfortunately I forgot to flip the switch often so I'd come back to my cabin 6 hours later to find my dirty towels still on the bathroom floor and my bed unmade and I didn't get my cute towel animals often. Oh, but the cabin steward was quick to know my name if I passed him in the hallway! The hot tubs were luke warm tubs and if you wanted one without 5 and 6 years olds in it you had to go way up to Spice H2O. Although there were signs on half of the hot tubs on the main pool level "18 and over" it didn't seem to mean a thing. All-in-all I was not impressed with NCL nor was I impressed with the Breakaway. Oh, the casino is the main attraction in the middle of (I think) deck 7. Major problem!!! It is a walk through on the deck with casino on the left and on the right. KIDS were walking through the casino all day long. Last I heard kids are not allowed in casinos. Very, very poor planning. At the main deck in the lobby I looked and a looked for a daily. There were flyers for upcoming cruises, for joining their frequent sailing club - not no daily. When I asked someone behind the counter he had to give me one from the cabinet. Now why oh why isn't the daily easy to access in the main lobby? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our fifth cruise. Our second on NCL. I'm not sure what has happened with NCL, as we traveled the epic ship 2 yrs ago and loved our experience. Our only complaint on epic was the set up of the bathrooms. Breakaway is just ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise. Our second on NCL. I'm not sure what has happened with NCL, as we traveled the epic ship 2 yrs ago and loved our experience. Our only complaint on epic was the set up of the bathrooms. Breakaway is just plain awful for numerous reasons. First the staff are all philapinne and very hard to understand. I don't think they understand us either as I had asked for drinks and they just shook head and got someone else for me to tell. One of the most pleasurable things when we cruise is to interact with the help on ships and speak to them about their countries and culture . On this cruise it's impossible as they lack the ability to communicate with us. The help seemed very overworked and not as friendly and chatty as the other ships we have been on. We did not feel comfortable with the staff. The service was very cut and dry. Their was no country diversity as they mostly all were from the same country it seemed. Next, ship was built very narrow as the hallways you had to walk single file. The pools were a joke as they too were small, crowded and jam packed. We did not use the pool or hotubs as you could not even move or you banged into the person next to you. The food was awful in the buffet. The specialty restaurants were a bit better and the manhattan room was a joke. Again the waiters were non speaking English and it took forever to be served. Room service had 3 items you could order and to find something to eat after 11 was impossible... Entertainment was okay, rock of ages (play) had a strange buzzing or feedback noise that they never fixed for the entire 105 mins of play. Burn the floor was good but after you saw that what else was left for the rest of week. On the epic there was so much to see and do, we never had a problem? Our cabin was smaller then most, we had a balcony cabin. The tv was awful. Not sure who they put in charge of that but the same movies played over and over on the 3 channels we had. Ironman, rock of ages and the mentalist. Room service took hours to arrive and that too was a joke. Breakfast was only a continental. No pancakes, eggs or French toast. Only cereal and muffins coffee. Once again the only items you could get 24 hrs was salad, turkey sand, chicken soup and blt....again not sure who created this lousy service but trust me NCL it stinks.... This particular cruise was loaded with kids that ran around, screamed and slid into you when you walked anywhere. They slid down railings, ran into elevators and pushed multiple buttons to be funny and then hopped off. Parents seemed unaffected by any of this.... The bathrooms in a few sections were gross. Toilets not even flushed. Yuck. Also where the sinks are with paper towels prior to going into buffet the water was left running and paper towel were empty. Nothing was serviced. The ship was ran very poorly and I was shocked more and more each day... The gym, a complete joke. Most treadmills are placed by the windows so when you jog you see the ocean. This gym was extremely small and the weights and lifting another joke. By far, this was the worst cruise of my life and we could not wait to come home. I actually brought extra money to pre book another cruise but after one days on the ship decided royal carribiaan is much nicer for the money and cruising experience. NCL if you were trying to cut corners without anyone noticing, WE NOTICED.....it shows in the small hallways, the pool shrunk, the food quality and quantity and the staff help.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
First I need to say that I was very excited to go on this cruise....I had heard so many raves about cruising, the food, the fun, etc. We had never been on a cruise and let me tell you .... I am not sure we will ever cruise again. The food ... Read More
First I need to say that I was very excited to go on this cruise....I had heard so many raves about cruising, the food, the fun, etc. We had never been on a cruise and let me tell you .... I am not sure we will ever cruise again. The food on this ship was terrible!! Hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken nuggets for lunch by the pool! Terrible...not one dessert that was good except the chocolate melting pot..the cakes were dry, most desserts were some type of jello or pudding. Fish entrees at dinner DRY DRY DRY...the Caesar dressing tasted fishy! way too much anchovies. It was like eating at a college cafeteria..in fact possibly worse. As far as activities go..unless you like to gamble, go to bars or drink there aren't any! $20 just to play bingo by the pool! The only positive thing I can say is that our cabin steward was FABULOUS - Deway was friendly, knew our names from the 1st night, made us little towel animals each night when he made down our beds, kept our room spotless! Nassau was fabulous...went to the RUI Palace for the day Freeport - tourist trap! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
First the pros: VERY inexpensive cruise Easy access from JAX airport to the port Fastest check-in I have ever experienced Musical entertainment was good Dinners were good to very good Evening Dining room service was good ... Read More
First the pros: VERY inexpensive cruise Easy access from JAX airport to the port Fastest check-in I have ever experienced Musical entertainment was good Dinners were good to very good Evening Dining room service was good Salad bar in the cafeteria style dining was good and fresh Burgers from the pool grill were very good Room attendants did a good job Nassau port was easily accessible – easy walk to town. Good beaches, good restaurants and shopping. Now the cons: Desperately needs refurbishing - Major entertainment is marginal at best – mostly game show type events – no shows. Shops were very small with very little merchandise Breakfast dining room staff was not very good Breakfast food in the dining room was marginal The “Sunday Brunch” was the same food as any other day Rooms really needed updating – the dresser drawers would hardly open, closet doors didn’t close – just OLD Not very many room amenities – no hair dryer, no hair conditioner, no lotion, no ice bucket Port of Freeport was almost inaccessible - in the middle of nowhere – at least 10 miles from town and when you got to town there wasn’t much to do or see. Disembarkment process was AWFUL. They encouraged us to carry our own luggage to get off faster. We stood around the hallways of the ship for about an hour - then once we got off the ship we had to wait in a “snaking” line for almost another hour to get through immigration and customs. Very poorly planned. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
If you are considering cruising with Royal Caribbean, beware the Empress of the Seas. While all of the staff and crew were friendly and professional, the actual ship was tired and dated. Areas are clean, but in need of renovation. Our ... Read More
If you are considering cruising with Royal Caribbean, beware the Empress of the Seas. While all of the staff and crew were friendly and professional, the actual ship was tired and dated. Areas are clean, but in need of renovation. Our cabin felt more like we were in a mobile home. Because this is RC's smallest ship there was quite a bit of rocking. My husband was seasick for 2 of our 4 days. The pool on this ship is extremely small. Both the pool and the hot tubs were overrun with children without adult supervision. The adult hot tub had children in it constantly and with staff watching were never asked to go to the family friendly tub. Worst of all was the quality of the food. The quality was terrible, and everything was served cold. I didn't have a hot meal the entire time. The service in the main dining room was extremely slow (2 hours to eat dinner with a table of strangers), and you would have to ask for things multiple times each night. (i.e. drink orders, napkins, etc) The shore excursions were all really enjoyable, but I was unimpressed with the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
This is my 2nd time (and last time) on the Constellation and 7th Celebrity cruise. This ship is in terrible shape. The furnishings in the public areas are in tattered disrepair. The fabrics are literally worn off the furniture so there are ... Read More
This is my 2nd time (and last time) on the Constellation and 7th Celebrity cruise. This ship is in terrible shape. The furnishings in the public areas are in tattered disrepair. The fabrics are literally worn off the furniture so there are bald spots. The room was not much better with rust in the grout in the bathroom and a moldy shower curtain. Having been now on Celebrity many times, they have cut back on the amenities. No cotton ball/Q-tip container. Instead, you get nothing unless you ask, and then you only get a 2-pack of cotton balls and Q-tips. Not a big deal, but you notice these things as the price of cruising continues to rise and they strip away the small stuff. Also, no pen and pad of paper in the room--this used to be standard. The TV room service program was not working, so they sent someone with another TV. Well.....it's not the TV, it's the programming. Duh! The battery in the in-room safe was dead, so the safe did not work. They sent another mechanic for that. Stay out of room 9109. Embarkation was a cluster mess even though I have priority check-in as a platinum member. Disembarkation was easy, since I stayed on the ship literally till they called my name to kick me off. My flight wasn't until 4 p.m. so I wasn't in a hurry to get off the ship. The food was the worst! Lobster bisque is more like lobster broth, with no trace of lobster. Steaks are tough and rubbery. I love to try all kinds of food, but I found that I needed to order two entrees at dinner just to have the hope that I could eat something off of each plate. That's really sad! The only dessert that is consistently good on Celebrity cruises is the creme brulee. The cake-style desserts were very dry and lacked good flavor. The buffet was hit or miss on good tasting food. If you can get your entree prepared fresh (omelette station or stir fry), that seemed to be the best way to get a tasty meal. I got tired of trying to hunt down a good meal so I went to room service. Boy, that was a mistake! The burgers and chicken sandwiches were dried out, the breakfast orders were made completely wrong and they gave me cream and sugar but no coffee. Really?? Nobody noticed that before sending it out? The shows were barely adequate, if not a bit lame. We had very smooth sailing seas, therefore, no swaying stage, so there was no excuse for the performers not to be in perfect step. Didn't do anything in Nassau except walk and shop and went to Senor Frog's. Fun place with great rum drinks and lots of dancing and singing. Took the "Taste of Key West" tour from the ship excursion. Well worth it for a food sampling tour. You visit a few of the establishments and you get a sampling of their food. Our walking tour guide was very informative and friendly and stopped along the way to give you some history of the area. The tour is a couple hours long. Not on this tour but was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives is DJ's Clam Shack on Duval Street in Key West. I made my way down there to try their lobster roll. The BEST lobster roll I've ever had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Shorty after we set sail on the Carnival Ecstasy, I was praying for debarkation. The check in process was painless and moved rather quickly which was a pleasant suprise. The first thing I noticed after stepping on to the ship were massive ... Read More
Shorty after we set sail on the Carnival Ecstasy, I was praying for debarkation. The check in process was painless and moved rather quickly which was a pleasant suprise. The first thing I noticed after stepping on to the ship were massive crowds of people. I figured that this was just because everyone was boarding at the same time and that once the confusion subsided and everyone figured out where they needed to go, that the crowds would die down. WRONG! The entire weekend this ship was complete chaos. At least a 5-10 min wait to get an elevator no matter what time of day or what part of the ship you were on. Getting a chair by the pool or on any outside deck was nearly impossible. Getting in the pool or one of the hot tubs at any time of the day was completely impossible. The buffet left a lot to be desired. Hockey puck cheeseburgers and rubbery hot dogs on the outside lido deck, and bland artificial tasting food inside. There were two small buffets inside. Both served the same thing, however both were hardly ever open at the same time leaving everyone to crowd at one. Buffet closed at random times all throughout the day. The shows were completely outdated for a family fun ship in 2015. The "welcome aboard" show was a group of mediocre singers singing motown songs dressed ridiculously., and then there was the british invasion show which was an homage to the beatles and similar acts sung by the same group of mediocre singers and overactors. Our port of call was Nassau which was an amazing experience. We opted for the glass bottom boat tour, as well as the tour of Nassau harbor. I would have much rather stayed in Nassau and flew home than to get back on the ship. The third day was a "fun day at sea"...by the end of this day I was ready to jump off the ship and swim the rest of the way. Everywhere on the ship was so crowded and most of the activities were geared towards children. The two shows that night were repeat performances of the same horrible shows in the days before. Another major downside to this ship is that is is a smaller ship, therefore you feel EVERYTHING! I have been home for almost a week now and am still suffering from vertigo feeling like I am rocking back and forth. I can promise that I will NEVER sail on the Carnival Ecstasy again.I will possibly give Carnival itself one more try on a bigger more updated ship, but in the future I will most likely spend the extra money and go with Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Beautiful ship. Many of the comments elsewhere about mediocre food, poor or non-existent service, long waits and an awful embarkation and disembarkation process we also experienced. My main comment is don't take the base price of ... Read More
Beautiful ship. Many of the comments elsewhere about mediocre food, poor or non-existent service, long waits and an awful embarkation and disembarkation process we also experienced. My main comment is don't take the base price of this cruise as meaningful as the add on are endless, food, sauna, quiet places, etc are all at additional (substantial) cost. My wife who loves to relax in the sauna was shocked that the sauna is $199 for a seven day cruise. I found the charges for the "specialty" restaurants exorbitant ($15 to $39 per head) considering the offerings. The staff, especially the officer class are rarely seen, and when they are it is fleeting. When I asked to see a senior member of staff, a restaurant host was summoned. A poor showing Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
To say I was disappointed in this cruise experience would be an understatement. My husband and I SORELY NEEDED a relaxing vacation away from work, volunteer responsibilities, and life in general, somewhere to unwind, turn off the cell ... Read More
To say I was disappointed in this cruise experience would be an understatement. My husband and I SORELY NEEDED a relaxing vacation away from work, volunteer responsibilities, and life in general, somewhere to unwind, turn off the cell phones, and just chill out. We are kicking ourselves for choosing this cruise line. My fault - we really only chose this cruise because I’m terrified of flying, so leaving from NYC which was only a 4 hour drive from our home in upstate NY was super convenient. The cost was also decent, even with having to park our vehicle for a week in NYC. Maybe I'm biased after thoroughly enjoying a beautiful 3-day Bahamas cruise and an amazing 7-day Alaskan cruise with another cruise line, but even if I hadn't, I believe I STILL would not have been satisfied with this ship. I realize my review will make me sound picky and spoiled, but my husband and I both work 2 jobs, are very dedicated to our volunteer fire department, and have 2 kids to raise, so we work very hard to enjoy a decent vacation every couple of years. Food: Less than satisfying. The first day lunch buffet was crowded and disorganized, dinner was the same. We walked for a full 10 minutes back and forth trying to find a place to sit, and finally ended up going back to our room to eat our now cold food. This situation did not improve much during the week. The buffet dining rooms were very crowded - tables close to each other so you had to be a contortionist to get in and out of your seat, bumping the person behind you, and hurrying to beat others to an open table you were eying from across the room. The Italian restaurant was WONDERFUL - food, service and atmosphere for the most part were great, aside from the loud noise from the basketball court directly above us. This was mentioned to management that if/when they ever remodel the ship, they may want to put their "fine dining" restaurants in a location AWAY from children/recreation areas. I understand it's convenient for them because I believe their kitchen was shared with the buffet kitchen, but when guests are paying extra for a special anniversary dinner on a cruise, they would hope for an atmosphere that's a little more serene. The famous "Cagney's Steakhouse" was not good, it just wasn't. Ordered steak medium well - it came out VERY WELL. Was tough and chewy, the waiter was anything but personable - dropped our food off on the table and never checked on us again until throwing dessert menus in our face 20-25 minutes later. Brochures promised a "Chocolate Buffet" night - nope, that didn't happen. They had a chocolate dessert night with maybe 5-6 different chocolate options on the regular buffet and a couple options in the other dining rooms. Was VERY disappointed with that as had heard from other cruisers what an awesome display it was. Overall the food quality and flavor were subpar, with a few surprise tasty items here and there. Room: Rooms were not ready when we arrived - no big deal, we ate lunch crammed in like sardines and waited patiently. Got to our room - was dusty with dirt on the floors. I realize they're in a time crunch preparing rooms between cruises that morning, but items left in the room from the previous cruisers? Really?? We had a balcony which was a first for us when cruising, but the neighbors had children that would slam their balcony door open and closed at all hours of the day and night, the cigarette smoke from the above deck and neighbors also wafted over our way, and being allergic to smoke made me have to hibernate in the room, so being able to enjoy the balcony was very sporadic. Entertainment: The magician Chip Romero was fantastic. Sat in front row for one show and he was funny and his skills are amazing. The comedian was ok but some jokes were just long and painful - many people got up and left halfway through the show. We didn't go to the "live" shows put on by the dancers/singers other than the opening night - they were ok and they tried hard, but not something we were super excited about seeing again. The last night's "crew talent show" was ok - a couple of really good singers and **spoiler alert**--- their skit "Fountains" was hysterical! You can actually see some past shows on YouTube if you search "Norwegian cruise Fountains" - they must do it on most of their cruises by the looks of it. Trivia was fun - Milo and Mandy were very nice. Again, brochures promised entertainment like "Blue Man Group" - didn't find out they were on another ship until we were already on our way sailing. Excursions: We stayed on the ship for Port Canaveral day as the prices for excursions were very high, so we got in the (only) pool for the first (and only) time as it wasn't packed full as it was the rest of the time. Great Stirrup Cay was beautiful, but having to get a ticket to get on the tender to take to the island was a long, drawn out process - never made it off the ship until almost noon. We did walk quite a ways down the beach and found our own little secluded area away from the crowd, so that was nice. Nassau was, well, Nassau. Been there once, you've been there a thousand times. Staff: I’d say as far as being friendly and helpful, it was about half and half. If you were sitting at one of the bars drinking alcoholic drinks, you were served much faster than someone trying to refill their mug with soda, and treated much better. There were a handful of people who were always a delight to see - the greeter at the buffet – “Washy washy, happy happy, smiley smiley”! Most of the staff looked bored and annoyed when asked for assistance, like it was beneath them to help you. Just the general overall feeling you got from the majority of the staff was that they didn’t like their jobs, didn’t want to be there, and helping you was just adding to their misery. Co-cruisers: I was raised with manners – wait your turn in line, say “excuse me” when needing to get past someone, say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate, talk quietly when others are trying to sleep, SHARE, etc. I didn’t see much of this on this cruise. I have never seen so many pushy, rude, obnoxious, loud, and inconsiderate people gathered in one location since Black Friday at Wal-Mart. The pushing and cutting in line got really old by Day 3. A lady actually told my husband to just “jump in front of people” and “push your way through” at the buffet line or he’d never get anything. Really? I had little kids stepping in front of me like I wasn’t there. I’m a 6’0” tall woman – am I really that hard to notice? Are you people who have been eating 5-6 meals a day and laying around by the pool like slugs with a mixed drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other for the last 5 days really STARVING to the point where you have to knock people over to get to the bacon??! And speaking of smokers – they’re kind of like cats: they can always tell the people that don’t like them, so they tend to get as close to those people as possible, every chance they get. Aaack! Sorry – hairball (with a touch of lung cancer). Oh yes, can’t forget to mention the little darlings on the ship. I think it was the first time some of them had been out of their own homes – wow. I just don’t even know where to begin. Everywhere we went they were running (literally running) through the hallways, dining rooms, stores, going up and down the elevators and pushing all the buttons just for fun, throwing food everywhere, wreaking havoc on everything and everyone they could find. We even decided to check out the non-smoking lounge with the bowling alley and slot machines to find a teenage girl practicing her “Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s” routine to a couple of really happy looking teenage boys in what my husband termed, “The Caligula Room”. Really?? And where were their parents exactly?? I can’t imagine letting my children act like that in my own home, let alone in public. Overall, like I said, we won’t be going on a Norwegian cruise again. With 14 ships on the sea, you’d think they’d have it figured out by now that customer service is the key to keeping people happy and coming back for more. My husband has written to them several times with requests for even a partial refund or at least a refund of the pre-paid tips, but all they have offered us is credit towards our next cruise they know we'll never take with them. For a company that makes close to $1 billion per year and can't refund less than $200 in tips says a lot about their values and customer service, or lack thereof. From now on, our future cruises will again be with the company that takes you to “The Happiest Place on Earth”, or in this case, on water.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
Where do I start?? After months of waiting for a fun girls get-a-way, I can't believe how disappointing our trip ended up. As soon as we walked on the ship from the post it smelled like sewage. The smell continued on through out the ... Read More
Where do I start?? After months of waiting for a fun girls get-a-way, I can't believe how disappointing our trip ended up. As soon as we walked on the ship from the post it smelled like sewage. The smell continued on through out the ship the entire time. We thought the smell would go away maybe it was just at the port. No, the sewage smell was in various areas. The first thing we noticed when we open our cabin door was the smell. It was so musty and the water smelled, the shower curtain smelled and over all felt gross. Thinking we would get a good night sleep was a mistake. The pillows were awful and the mattress was not comfy either. The pool chairs all seemed dirty, old and some had bird poop. Hard to find chairs because people would be gone for long periods of time leaving their towels on the chairs to save them. The band or person that sang on Sunday was just AWFUL. He could not sing in tune. I complained and asked why we can't just listen to normal music & I was told there was nothing they could do that the person singing was a professional singer and he would be on until 4:00pm. It was comical at the end of their set that they announced if you liked the music you could buy a CD, What? Are you kidding me. Why do they have music video playing on the big screens w/o the sound. Anything would have been better. If you are on a trip to the islands, you would think there would be steel drums and music like you are on vacation. Our ship was not able to stop at CooCoo Cay because of the weather. The ocean was too rough to use the tender boats. This was a huge disappointment. They had nothing special for us to do being stuck at sea. We were stuck in the windy upper leave trying to soak up the sun and relax, but the music was just awful to listen to and try to relax. I found the lunches to be very bland and boring. The hamburgers looked they were boiled in water every time they had them out. They had the same cookies all 3 days. Not much to pick from because it was the same food everyday. Was not impressed by the sit down dinner. Very bland food, no flavor and pretty much same food each night. Lots to pick from at buffet, but also pretty bland food. The dinner rolls were good and fries. That is pretty much what I ate the entire time and the salad bar. We participated in a couple of activities that were fun. Listen to a small part of a song and then guess what the song and who sings it. The comedian on Sunday night was good. He was funny and interacted w/ the crowd. The 5th floor smells like smoke. The ship needs better ventilation or to be made non smoking. You can smell the smoke from the stairs/elevator area. It sticks because you have to walk through the casino to get to the piano bar and a couple other things at that end of the ship. There were 11 of us girls and not one of us thought this ship/cruise was a very good experience. They need more staff that speak English as well. You can ask them a question and they would look at you w/ a blank look. The smell of sewage was bad but having your room smell like it has been flooded by toilet water and semi-dried out is just gross! We had friends in 3 other rooms down the hall and their rooms did not smell like ours. I honestly can't ever see myself going on this ship again. It needs a good cleaning, new band by the pool, and better food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
cheap price initially until numerous uninformed fees started adding up. I paid extra to bring my mom & dad for their anniversary & paid extra to upgrade the room to accomodate 4 adults. This is not my complaint! Loved the room, but ... Read More
cheap price initially until numerous uninformed fees started adding up. I paid extra to bring my mom & dad for their anniversary & paid extra to upgrade the room to accomodate 4 adults. This is not my complaint! Loved the room, but really who stays in it anyhow. I've been on many cruises, and this was the "ghetto" version of all cruises at "pick your pocket" with added fees prices. Valet parking, fuel charge, other room charges, & NO DRINKS ARE FREE.... everyone knows you pay for the alcohol (at least experience cruisers), but i never paid for the soft drinks before. There is only two buffet areas in which food is part of trip (but they have strict opening times).. you pay anywhere else on trip. Very limited entertaintainment. (take a tour of the captain area!---that was awesome to see) Basically it's a high price water taxi to get you to and from Florida to Nassau(which in itself is no Freeport)... be prepare because you may set yourself up for a very boring trip and feeling like you've just been played out of your money (just gave it away).... oh, and your time (say away & avoid the timeshares... they won't rob your money but will rob your time) Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Let me preface this review by stating that I am not a seasoned cruise traveler (and don’t know whether I will ever be one), but I approached this adventure with an open mind, eager to see what all the fuss is about. I now live in Fort ... Read More
Let me preface this review by stating that I am not a seasoned cruise traveler (and don’t know whether I will ever be one), but I approached this adventure with an open mind, eager to see what all the fuss is about. I now live in Fort Lauderdale and on a daily basis, I watch from my balcony as the cruise ships arrive and depart Port Everglades. I decided it was time I got on one of them again. A friend and I booked this cruise through a travel agent who secured our staterooms; we both paid the supplement to have private rooms, which were adjacent to each other. Because we were apprehensive about cruising (the second such experience for each of us), we picked a short 3-night and 2-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau. First, the good: the Celebrity Silhouette is roughly 6 years old and most common areas of the ship look brand new. Dining experiences exceeded my expectations; we chose to have lunches in the buffet (Oceanview Café) and dinners in the main dining room (Grand Cuvee’). There are also a host of informal grills and cafes with free food throughout the ship as well as a handful of “specialty dining” restaurants, to which a “cover charge” applies. Entertainment options were numerous; something for everyone. The majority of the daytime events centered on the pool and the outdoors, as one would hope and expect. Evening options included live bands with dancing, games in the ship’s lounges, a colorful casino, and two or three nightly shows in the ship’s theater. The beverage packages seemed reasonably priced to me; we certainly got our money’s worth each day. We took one excursion in Nassau and it was a good one: the “Sea and See”, which is a combination of 1) a ride on a submerged vessel, giving one a close-up view of fish and coral, and 2) a bus ride through the old town, with a stop at a centuries-old fort that has the best view of the island. For someone who has never been to Nassau, it was a perfect blend of nature and history. The downsides: I felt like I was nickel-and-dimed the whole cruise. Everywhere you turn, the ship is trying to sell you something extra or push upgrades on you, and the in-your-face promotions got old fast. My stateroom, for which I paid roughly $1100 for 3 nights (!), was very small, although the balcony was a decent size. We were on Deck 7, and our rooms were directly above the enormous orange lifeboats, which compromised the views. There is no coffee maker in the room. There is a small fridge, although most of the space inside of it is occupied by minibar items. My stateroom 7183 included a badly-worn sofa and bathroom drawers that were stained and scuffed. The towels were old and nearly threadbare; I asked for (and received) newer, fluffier towels, but I shouldn’t have needed to do that at these prices. On a positive note, my cabin steward (Abdul) was exceptionally good. He responded to every request almost immediately, and always with a smile. The fitness center was satisfactory; I used it daily and never had to wait for a machine, but the spa was a disappointment. In order to use the steam room, you had to pay a significant upcharge. I didn’t bother. There were no male massage therapists. There were significant upcharges for routine fitness classes such as spinning. Other upcharges included on-demand in-room movies ($15). Perhaps the biggest surprise was displayed by room service; I used it two mornings for breakfast and both times, silverware was either completely missing or the wrong kind was provided. The first morning, I received 3 spoons, but no fork or knife. By the time I noticed, the attendant was long gone and no one answered the phone after repeated tries. I finally gave up and ate with my fingers. An apology from the manager arrived that evening in the form of chocolate-covered strawberries. The next day, I got a fork and a knife, but no tablespoon. How can that happen? The food from room service was a disappointment. In the future, I would get dressed and go to one of the restaurants, where things are fresh. Servers there are not hurried and they generally display great pride in their work and concern for your satisfaction. This brings me to my biggest quandary about the service on the cruise: a mandatory 18% tip is included in everything you purchase, and a separate $13.50 charge per day is added to your bill for “onboard gratuities.” Now, I have been a big tipper for many years, and I think nothing of adding 20 or 25% for the server if the service is good. But when a mandatory charge is added by the cruise operator, I wonder how much of that money makes its way to the people who do the work. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
Empress of the Seas 1/17. Pool is way too small, 3 hot tubs overrun by kids eating and drinking and no supervision. Service at breakfast one day horrible otherwise good. Food quality is just ok. The food in paid restaurant-onboard ... Read More
Empress of the Seas 1/17. Pool is way too small, 3 hot tubs overrun by kids eating and drinking and no supervision. Service at breakfast one day horrible otherwise good. Food quality is just ok. The food in paid restaurant-onboard excellent though. Older ship with smaller staterooms. First ship Iwas ever on whenstill the Nordic Empress 20 plus years ago. Lots of improvement investments but mostly qualitative. So basic ship old and not up to today's standards. Entertainment was very good with good variety. Key West and Bahamas excellent ports of call. Have cruised on Princess before and feel that it is much superior and worth the extra costs. The older I get the quality issues matter more than the cost/value so will likely do more upscale in the future. On the only breakfast we had in the main dining room buffet there was no coffee, juice, water service until meal almost completed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Short review - You get what you pay for! We didnt pay the top RCI dollars for their mega ships so we cant complain too much about it. Its a very small ship and maybe the worst of the RCI family. If you don't like to walk too far and ... Read More
Short review - You get what you pay for! We didnt pay the top RCI dollars for their mega ships so we cant complain too much about it. Its a very small ship and maybe the worst of the RCI family. If you don't like to walk too far and don't mind plumbing problems and noise issues, then it the one for you. Also, being a smaller ship the staff knew almost everyone in our table by their names and gave top quality service. That was the single most happy time of our cruise as we saw smiling faces greeting us at every meal. As for us this was our first and last cruise on this particular ship. Long review - I totally agree with most reviewers about the size and quality of the ship - Small and Disappointing. Here are our good, bad & ugly remarks - The Good: The wait staff, the servers, the greeters, the cleaners - All from various parts of the world made us feel welcomed and were always smiling in-spite of their hard day's work. The port of Miami check-in was a breeze and we were on the ship within 15 minutes of being dropped off by an Uber / Lyft ($35-$40 for 4 of us total from FLL, compared to $30 per person that the cruise ship wanted for airport transfer) at the gate. The entry and exit on port-calls was also very fast compared to other ships we have traveled in the past. The main show of the night was fantastic each night, specifically Elton John tribute on the 3rd night and the Showgirls at the last night. The Headliner show / comedian was OK. Not great but not bad either. The Cruise director and his staff were great and tried very hard to please. The overall food at main dining was not the best we have had, but not bad either. Windjammer food was sometimes better than the the main dining, so we skipped our My-Time dinner twice. The Brunch buffet was decent but overcrowded as the ship had only one place for it. The Bad: The showers were extra small and lacked hot water even early in the morning or late at night. The plumbing was terrible at the very best. Several common ladies room were always in bad shape. The cushion seats at Windjammer were the ugliest thing we have ever seen. We always sat on the wooden ones. The condition of the ship needed to be much better considering it was refurbished just a year ago. The dessert selections at the Windjammer and the main dining needs some inspiration, as we saw same items every day. Also, NO 24-hour pizza place or soft serve ice-cream corner. The ice-cream machine frequently broke causing them to operate only for few hours everyday. The Casino lacked variety, quality and space. It was so hot inside due to crammed up slot machines that they had about 20 fans running every 10 ft just to keep it bearable and breathable. The main tables were always full as they only had one of each - Blackjack, Texas Holdem, 3-Card Poker, Craps..! The slot machines were dated and not fun at all. The Gym was also tiny and had few choice of machines. There was NO Steam / Sauna rooms, that bummed my wife out as we had used them both in all our past cruises. The only activity place was the rock-climbing wall which again was packed with teenagers and time slots were taken up everyday. There was NO formal night or advance information about the dress-code (there was all white night, that would have been fun if we knew in advance before packing our clothes) The three hot water whirlpools were crowded most of the time, so we had to pick early morning (7am to 9am) or late evening (8pm to 9 pm) to use it. The walls of the cabins were paper thin and we had trouble sleeping every night. Some idiots next doors always rang their rooms between midnight trying to find their non existent family member and then eventually come to their room after partying hard at 2am. That woke us up each night and guest relations didnt do much about it. (its not their fault, just our luck to be stuck near loud and stupid neighbors) The Ugly: We had a terrible experience with our room. On the very first night smelly water was logged on the entrance of the room. We brought it to the notice of the guest relations and their reply was sorry the ship is full! They put two huge dryer fans to fix the issue. It worked fine during the day, except for the problem to return every night and it was a huge puddle on night-3. Now they offered me a room - interesting since the ship was full two days ago. The reasoning given was some passengers left due to emergency - very possible, but too late for me. My family was out and i didnt want to move without notifying them, so survived the nights. It was only on the last night when i went to check my dues, i realized that no offer of apology or waiving of some charges was presented to us. Thats when i got angry and got diverted to talk with their guest relations manager. She was a very nice lady who was shocked to hear our horror story and promised to get to bottom of it and revert back to us. After her investigation she confirmed our problems and expressed dismay over inaction of her staff. She offered us onboard credits towards our bill and a future discount on RCI (On condition that i need to book something within a year). The offer was not close enough to our miseries, but did not have not much choice on it. It was just enough to cover for some body massages for us!! N/A : We didn't use the Bar or the Spa so cant say anything specific about it. Shore Excursions : Day 2: Key West - We booked the Key Lime Bike Tour ($45 pp) through the cruise and were picked up by an awesome guide - Clint. It was a perfect tour to see the island and know its history. Clint made it entertaining and funny for all of us. Every single person in the group loved this excursion. The highlight of the tour was the description of the bloody battle of the "Conch Republic" vs "USA" and the free Key-Lime Pie served at the end of the tour. 5/5 for Clint and the tour. Day 4: Nassau, Bahamas - We booked the Pearl Island day tour ($79 pp) through the cruise also and were picked up right outside the ship ramp via a boat that took about 40 mins to the island. A very tiny but beautiful island had got damaged in the last hurricane (Matthews), but didn't got its spirit damaged. The guide and the 5 other people serving us in the island more than made up for the perfect last day of the cruise. The tour included lunch (food) was great and enough for a fill and so were the free drink and paid drinks. They even included 2 photo ops that were printed and given to us as souvenirs. There was a tiny beach and about the perfect size for the 30 people on the tour. There was plenty of shaded and open chairs. There were 3-4 games available to play but we all were in the perfect blue water. The fun and attitude of the staff there was pleasing and made us promise them to come back again after they renovate in future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Food A. To many people to serve at one time at buffets. B. Disappointed because Guy's famous Bar-B- Que was only opened for one day of the entire 5 days and for 2 and a half hours at that. Never did get to sample his ... Read More
Food A. To many people to serve at one time at buffets. B. Disappointed because Guy's famous Bar-B- Que was only opened for one day of the entire 5 days and for 2 and a half hours at that. Never did get to sample his wonderful prepared pork we had heard about. His hamburgers were the best I have ever tasted in my life. Loved his fries also. C. We had anytime dining. We have chose this concept for the past 4 cruises. Well it did not work for us this time. We had a wait of 1 hour and 5 minutes to get seated the last evening for our dinner. When we did the early or late dining in the past we never had to wait over 15 minutes. This caused us to miss an activity we had planned on attending. Islands We loved Amber Cove. The sight seeing tour was worth every penny and more. We took this cruise because we wanted to visit Grand Turk. We have been to Nassau in the Bahamas at least 6 times and wanted see different islands. Well we were unable to dock and was rerouted of course to Nassau. I was heart broken It is a beautiful ship and well tended too. Someone was always cleaning something. That was a big deal with me. The workers on board were very friendly and went above and beyond their duty to help you with any needs you had. Entertainment The performers were the best of the best. I loved every minute of each show. The CRUISE DIRECTOR was the most wonderful guy I have ever met. DR. J was so funny and had you eating out of the palm of his hand. I hope by Thanksgiving next year , some things change for the better concerning issues with dining. But I want to return to the Carnival Magic ship for the 7 day cruise only if DR. J is still aboard in November of 2017. Read Less

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